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Keeping a laundry room fully-stocked will save you lots of frustration when it comes time to wash and dry your clothes. However, you may wonder what items are needed in a laundry room. We’ve done the research for you, and we’re here to tell you everything you need for your laundry room.
These items are must-haves for a laundry room:
- Washer and dryer
- Dryer sheets or dryer balls
- Stain/odor removers
- Laundry basket
- Waste bin (mostly for lint)
These items aren’t always needed, but they’re good to have:
- Ironing board and supplies
- Clothes drying rack
- Folding station
- Laundry sorting bins
We know we just listed a lot of items, and you still might have questions about how to set up your laundry room for maximum convenience. That’s why we’re going to give you some tips on saving space and organizing your laundry room to make it as easy to use as possible.
How do I organize my laundry room?
When organizing your laundry room, make sure the regularly used items are always easy to find and reach. For instance, you should put detergent and dryer balls/sheets somewhere you won’t miss or have trouble getting to them. Other items that you don’t use as much can stay in a more secluded location.
Obviously, the bigger your laundry room, the more space you’ll have for equipment and features that aren’t vital but are still nice to have on hand, like an ironing board or a place to fold clean clothes.
No matter how much space is available, overhead storage is always a good choice, whether with cabinets or added shelves. Any type of wall-mounted drying rack is also convenient.
If all our talk about organizing your laundry room has got you wondering what else you can do to turn it into a more appealing space, we’ve got you covered. You can check out our posts on laundry room light fixtures, cabinets, and general decor.
Are dryer balls better than dryer sheets?
Dryer sheets have been a laundry room staple for many years, and for some people, they might be the only drying aid they’ve ever used. However, dryer balls are also a frequently-discussed alternative to sheets, and there’s an ongoing debate concerning which is better at drying clothes. The truth is surprisingly complex as both options have their strengths and weaknesses.
How do dryer balls and dryer sheets work?
First, we’ll give you a quick overview of how both products work. Dryer balls are usually made of either wool or plastic, and they bounce around the inside of the dryer while it’s in motion, moving between the clothes to keep them separated. When the clothes don’t stick together, it’s easier for hot air to move through the dryer’s chamber, which helps the clothes dry faster.
Dryer sheets are made of polyester and covered with chemicals. Once you start the dryer, the hot air and friction from the tumbling laundry activates the chemicals, and they move onto the clothes. These chemicals perform several jobs simultaneously during the drying process: they prevent the static clinging that can make clothes stick together, they make clothes feel soft and smooth right out of the dryer, and they give them a refreshing scent.
Dryer Balls Vs. Sheets - Pros & Cons
Dryer balls have several advantages over sheets. Money-wise, they’re the better option since they significantly shorten a laundry load’s drying time, which means you’ll enjoy a smaller electricity and gas bill. They’re also cheap, and they last about 1,000 loads or more, so it’ll be some time before you have to buy new ones. Their reusability also makes them more eco-friendly than dryer sheets, which are single-use only.
Then again, you may decide to use dryer balls just because of the many fun design options they have. You could go with plain, solid-color dryer balls, but why not go for something more interesting? Dryer balls come in designs resembling hedgehogs, sloths, and other animals, just to name a few choices.
On the flip side, dryer balls aren’t as good as dryer sheets when it comes to fighting static clinging or softening clothes. They also won’t give your clothes a scent unless you add essential oils; this only works with wool dryer balls. You’ll need new wool dryer balls when your current ones start unraveling, and you should get new plastic dryer balls when cracks appear or spikes start falling off. Lastly, dryer balls make noise as they tumble in the dryer.
Dryer sheets have their own strengths. They’re great at getting rid of static cling and softening clothes. Additionally, many people like them because they add a nice fragrance to their laundry. However, unlike dryer balls, sheets don’t help clothes dry any faster, and they can only be used once. Also, some users have reported that dryer sheets reduced their towels’ absorbency.
Are dryer sheets a health hazard?
There’s an ongoing controversy regarding whether or not dryer sheets are safe to use. The concern is that the chemicals dryer sheets use might be toxic and increase users’ risk of illness over the long term. For instance, some studies claim that dryer sheets cause asthma and skin irritation. These claims haven’t been conclusively proven, but many people are understandably hesitant to buy dryer sheets in case future studies reveal that they’re a health hazard.
If you want to avoid the risk of dangerous chemicals entirely, you can always buy dryer balls instead. They’re chemical-free and therefore don’t pose any health risks.
How do you store laundry detergent?
The proper guidelines for storing laundry detergent vary slightly depending on which type of detergent you’re using. Detergent comes in three main varieties: powder, liquid, and packets.
No matter which type of detergent you prefer, make sure you keep it stored out of sight and preferably high up on a shelf or in a cabinet so children and pets can’t reach it. Laundry detergent should be closed and/or sealed off when you’re not using it. Only adults should handle laundry detergent.
Liquid and powder detergents both need to stay at a room temperature between 50 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (10 and 25 degrees Celsius). Anything outside that range can make liquid detergent destabilize, while powder detergent can either harden in cold temperatures or lose its effectiveness in hot temperatures.
Powder and packet detergents need to be kept in dry areas. Packet detergent also shouldn’t be exposed to high humidity as this can make packets stick together or pop open.
Wrapping Things Up
No matter how big or small your laundry room is, you want to make sure you have everything you need on hand. Create a setup that works for you, decide which detergent and drying aid you prefer, and you’ll be all set to start washing and drying clothes.